Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Thankful on Thursday - God is both Sovereign and Good

Thursday of Thankfulness

Today I'm thankful that God is sovereign. I'm thankful that when life is hectic and elections do not turn out as it seems they "should," that God is still on His throne. Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from His notice, and not a single official is elected outside of His plan. I'm thankful that God's plans are not thwarted by low voter turnout, uninformed voting, unethical voting, or seemingly good ammendments that fail to pass. God does not sponsor our agenda or the agenda of a political party. God has His own agenda.

But I'm not just thankful that God is sovereign; I'm thankful that God is both sovereign and good. Not only does nothing happen outside His will, but everything happens in the goodness of God. I'm thankful that God isn't just a frowning providence, but a smiling face. And for those that love Him, all works together for good. What a glorious promise!

Thank you, Lord, that you are on your throne.


Lydia H. said...

Thanks for the post, Susan. I think we have been sharing some similar thoughts. It is always a good reminder to be told that God is sovereign and in control. I appreciated how you pointed out that God does not belong to a particular political party because He has His own agenda he is accomplishing. He is much bigger than party lines. That is a wise reminder for many to keep in mind these days.

I think of the verse that God used to describe His own plans, "My ways are not your ways neither are your thoughts, My thoughts. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts." This was a rough paraphrase and I can't recall the particular reference off the top of my head. Isaiah or Jeremiah maybe?

God certainly has wondrous and mighty plans that do not always coincide with our own. He knows what is best. I, too, praise Him for that.

Mike said...

I've been thinking similar thoughts lately in the context of two young couples in our church experiencing miscarriages in the past month. If God is only providentially sovereign, then we may have cause to shake our fist at the tyrant in heaven who wreaks havoc in our lives.

Oh, but he is also good! In his providential decrees he is above reproach, and his love endures forever. What great solace that, not only is he "in control," but also that he loves us beyond measure.

Mr. Baggins said...

See, the Arminian conservative is right now tearing his hair out, because God's plan is somehow being thwarted right now. But if God brought good out of the cross, He can bring good out of anything.

Susan said...

Lydia, that is one of my favorite verses! I almost put it in this post, in fact. Any time I feel discouraged and that things are not going "right," that verse immediately pops into my head. It's Isaiah 55:9 (HT: biblegateway).

Welcome to my blog, Mike. Absolutely the key to comfort in God's sovereignty is His equally important goodness :). That's neat that you've been pondering that also, of late.

But if God brought good out of the cross, He can bring good out of anything.

That's deep. Thank you for that thought, Lane. So you're saying it's great to be a Calvinist right about now? ;)

John Dekker said...

Either tha, or a Democrat. Or both, of course.

zan said...

Is it possible to be a Democrat and a Calvinist? Hmmm. That would be interesting. I don't think so. Democrats are just too controling. ; )

I just want to tell Lane that I have visitd a few Arminian blogs and they remarked that God was still in control and the election results were part of his plan.

I was very depressed to see the results. However, I comforted myself by looking around and seeing how blessed I am with my home and family. I think Susan's, Lydia's, and Adrian's post were very appropriate and uplifting.

Mr. Baggins said...

Yes, I would say that it is great to be a Calvinist at all times. To Zan, I will freely admit that there are many inconsistent Arminians out there. I think that if you were to ask them in a very general way what caused people to vote the way they did, they might very well point to the sovereignty of God. But if you bring it down to a person to person level, they will say that the ultimate cause was each individual person's free will choice. But if the individual could thwart God's choice on an individual level, then why is God still sovereign? We have different understandings of the sovereignty of God.

Susan said...

Actually I've met a number of Calvinistic Democrats, Zan. It comes from having extended family in the PCUSA, I suppose ;). Though there are many varieties of Calvinism, some more nominal. And the stress in Presbyterianism is more theological conservatism than social conservatism, so you get more variety.

I'm certainly not a Democrat, but I'm by no means a card-carrying Republican, for clarification. I'm more of a Constitutionalist than anything else, and I voted for an independent candidate in the last presidential election (Bush was projected to easily carry Georgia). I do usually vote Republican, though.

zan said...

I understand how you would view these Arminians as inconsistant, Lane. Well, nobody's perfect. : )

So, Susan, is a Constitutionalist kind of like a libertarian?

Susan said...

I'm not sure if I would qualify as a "true" Constitutionalist, so perhaps I should have used the uncapitalized form of that word. I merely mean that I am in favor of a strict interpretation of the constitution, smaller government, etc. I like a lot about the Constitutionalist Party, and I voted for their candidate last election since Bush was already going to carry Georgia.

I'm not necessarily in agreement with the CP's foreign policy, though, which borders on isolationism. I don't know what is the fine balance between good foreign policy, protecting our borders, and keeping a decent budget. That's why I'm glad I'm not president :). Peroutka wanted to bow out of Iraq immediately if he was elected, which I think is a horrible strategy, so in retrospect maybe I should have just voted for Bush, but Bush did several things right before the election that really rubbed me wrong :).

I don't uphold the Constitution as supernaturally inspired, which is practically the case in some Constitutionalist circles. I think it is a good document with fine principles, but it's fallible just like other writings. I admit, though, that I'm not as informed on all its nuances as I should be, so I'm speaking largely from ignorance.

The difference between my view and the libertarian view is that I believe that the civil magistrate has the power and duty to restrain evil, while libertarians want smaller government often to the expense of good moral laws. "Smaller government wherever possible" is my motto, but not to the detriment of our society. In other words, I do not support legalized abortion, drugs, prostitution, gay marriage, etc., unlike most libertarians. But unfortunately constitutionalists often take this to a new level, and think the answer to society's ills will come through good government, but only Jesus will do helpless sinners good.

So, let's clarify: I'm theologically conservative, politically conservative, socially conservative, and usually those manifest themselves in my case with a Republican vote, but not always :).

Anonymous said...

I think it is good that you are not fixed to one party, Susan, but you consider the merits of different ideas and candidates. I think it is dangerous to be fixed to one party. This is shown, for example, in the fact that the Republican party puts up candidates who are pro-gay and pro-abortion. It is also displayed here in the "conservative" Liberal party. We need to vote more intelligently than simply on the basis of which sticker someone wears!

Anonymous said...

Just testing... again... :-)

For more random, I'd like to say that I've been thankful for the lovely, unseasonably warm weather lately with beautiful sunshine, but it better be cold again by Thanksgiving or it just wouldn't seem like Thanksgiving! A warm Thanksgiving would be like hot-off-the-stove ice cream soup or something. Yuck. That's just wrong.

Thank you for tuning into random thoughts by Hannah Garrison while a test is in progress. *beep*

Susan said...

It's still not working for you, Dear :(.

And I agree we need cold weather for our Chattanooga visit! We can't have our traditional bonfire otherwise. It just wouldn't be right!

zan said...

I will pray for cold weather.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Zan, you're very kind.

Now watch there be a blizzard or something! ;-)